On November 11, 2000, Wildmind’s website went live for the first time. We didn’t realize it at the time, but that meant that Wildmind’s 11th birthday would fall on 11.11.11!
Wildmind was started by Bodhipaksa while he was a grad student at the University of Montana. He’d recognized that at that time there was very little reliable information on meditation on the web. It had occurred to him that since people often learned meditation from books and cassette tapes (remember them?), the internet was the perfect place to bring together text and audio, providing structured, self-paced guides to Buddhist meditation practices.
Thanks to a generous grant from the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, Bodhipaksa was able to spend a summer putting together the materials for the website. A number of friends pitched in to help. A local Buddhist businessman called Pat Lawler put up the funds to get the site established. Pat also suggested the idea of running online courses, which first started in the Spring of 2001.
Two friends, Beth Chevalier and Roger Hyam, helped with web design and coding. Later a professional designer, Heidi Harting-Rex, redesigned the site from the ground up. Here’s her original design:
As you can tell, the site’s been through a few redesigns since then.
Also since that time, Wildmind has gone on to publish a number of guided meditation CDs, continues to run online meditation courses, and runs workshops using videoconferencing.
The original website has continued to expand, with more self-paced introductory material on meditation than ever before. Our website now attracts over a million visitors a year!
We of course now have a blog, through which we publish book reviews, articles on practice, and every significant news story on meditation that we can track down.
It’s been a great 11 years, and we’d like to thank each and every one of our visitors!
I would like to express my deep gratitude to Bodhipaksa for creating this site and the enlightening news letter’s. The newsletter’s have been a constant source of inspiration for me to continue the daily meditation practice. Thanks.
Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Wildmind, happy birthday to you! Hip hip hooray!!
Thank you, Mandy and Prashant.
Wow, happy birthday! I think I took the first level mindfulness course in about 2005ish and i’m pleased to say that while the vast majority of websites I’ve visited over the years have come and gone, wildmind is one that has been a mainstay of my browser since. I’ve never quite managed to go further towards a buddhist path than a very tentative toe in the water, too much of it still doesn’t quite fit for me at present (though my toe is still pushing in!), but the guidance and wisdom on meditation found here and in my very well thumbed Wildmind book and very, very well used CD’s have been an incredibly enriching part of my life.
Many thanks for such a wonderful resource.
Here’s to the next 11 years!
I wish the happiest of birthdays to Wildmind! I first took a course in 2001 and they all helped to change my life. I’m so grateful to you and the Wildmind team for making this site and tools available to so many.
All the best to the best!!
I echo all of the comments above. Heartiest congratulations and gratitude!!
At the risk of being cheesy, I do like the 11 on 11.11.11 thing, maybe it was the unconscious mind at work ;)
Happy (belated) birthday! :) xx